What to Expect: The Adoption Finalization
Once the baby has arrived, the final adoption hearing is the event the family has been waiting for. In Arkansas, the hearing is normally set six working days after the baby has been born. The attorney will notify the court that the baby has been born, all requirements are complete and that the family is ready for the final hearing. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes, and your attorney will ensure that all the required paperwork is submitted to the judge in advance so the adoption hearing itself can focus solely on the adoptive family and not the paperwork.
The adopting parents and the baby must be present at the hearing which will normally last around 10-15 minutes. At that time, the adoption attorney will ask a series of simple questions to the family which will be reviewed beforehand. The questions being asked are not going to be tough questions. In fact, if the family has been wanting this finalization for a long time now, these will be some of the easiest questions they will ever have to answer. The judge simply needs these statements and reassurances that this child will be forever brought into a stable and loving family on the record.
The hearing will conclude by the judge signing the final adoption decree. Many times, the judge will also allow for pictures with the new family. After this point, it is time to celebrate the new, forever family that has been created.
The term finalization can be deceiving in that it signifies that something is coming to an end, but the finalization process is the start of something beautiful and amazing as you begin your lives as a permanent, forever family!
Traditionally, adoption finalizations are held in a courtroom, but due to the pandemic some finalizations have been held virtually during COVID spikes. In this case, the court typically uses Zoom video conferencing, and the process is very similar to an in-person finalization. As always, our team is here to answer any questions you may have concerning your virtual finalization and ensure this last step in your journey is a perfect one, even if it isn’t at the courthouse.